How To Use The Labyrinth in Sand Tray Therapy

Try using this sand tray therapy technique with your sand tray therapy clients as a warm up to sand tray therapy. 

Relaxation Techniques with Sand Tray Therapy: The Labyrinth

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that can be found all over the world in many different cultures. It is not attached to any one culture religion, or tradition.

There are many different types of labyrinths. Some are large and outdoors, others are small and on paper. They are similar to a maze, yet different because they have only one path that leads to the center and then back out again.

The labyrinth is a focusing tool that helps people focus on their emotions. It is also a form of relaxation, or can be used to get in touch with one’s spiritual side.

Counselors have been using the labyrinth with clients for quite some time.

Many sand tray therapy counselors chose to use the finger labyrinth at the same time their clients are using the finger labyrinth. Small labyrinths can be purchased or printed on paper.

One can even create their own sand tray therapy labyrinth. There are societies that are dedicated to the research and use of the labyrinth. The client will relax more and begin to trust the therapist on a deeper level.

The labyrinth is similar to the sand tray in sand tray therapy  as it holds up a mirror to the client and defense mechanisms can be brought to the surface and acknowledged.

The sand tray therapist can help the sand tray therapy client come up with more appropriate ways of being verses the use of defense mechanisms.

Materials: Paper or wooden labyrinth


1. If the client is willing ask them to take a finger walk through the paper or wooden labyrinth. The therapist can take the same finger walk on a different labyrinth at the same time the client is taking the walk on their labyrinth.

2. While taking the finger walk the client can talk about any issues or problems they are facing.

3. The labyrinth finger walk will relax the client and allow him or her to focus on the issues presented. It can also help the therapist focus and connect on a deeper level with the client.

*Use with caution if a client is actively psychotic, severely depressed, or in a manic phase of Bipolar disorder as they may be brought to a deeper level to face the issues presented.

How to do the Sand Tray to Sand Tray Therapy 

How to do Sand Tray Therapy to Creative Counseling Home

Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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